STUART, Fla. — A woman was struck and killed by a Brightline train in Boynton Beach during an introductory run, according to the Boynton Beach Police Department.
The woman was identified Saturday as Melissa Lavell, 31, of Boynton Beach. Lavell was crossing the tracks after the guard rails were in the down position, in an attempt to make it across the tracks before the train approached, according to a post on the Boynton Beach police department’s Facebook page.
Officers were called to the scene at the Florida East Coast Railway tracks at 6:25 p.m. Friday.
Friday’s accident was the third fatality for Brightline, which launched introductory passenger rail service Saturday morning. A woman was struck in July in Boca Raton in a case that was investigated as a suicide, and another woman was hit on the tracks in Deerfield Beach in November.
The railroad has been testing its trains for several months.
Brightline described the most recent fatality as a “tragic” incident.
“Brightline’s team is cooperating with local authorities,” the railroad said in a written statement. “This is a tragic incident, and our thoughts and prayers are with those affected. We continue to stress safety and the adherence to the rules and laws in place around active railroads.”
Brightline’s first ride between West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale took off on time at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
Credit: USA TODAY